In the end, neither side is totally right, and neither side is totally wrong. Google is more technically correct, Alibaba is more functionally correct. Neither side seems willing to change, and Google would be hard-pressed at this point to make major waves. While Andorid has decimated its rivals (MeeGo, WebOS, BlackBerry 10, yadda, yadda), Google also can’t rock the boat.
Samsung and HTC both are consistently contemplating going their own way, and if everyone forks their own Android out of pressure… it will become commonplace to tout “Dalvik capable” or “runs most popular apps from Android” as the phrases that win the day… at Google’s detriment. Both of those phrases would skirt the whole debate, and would not hurt Alibaba one bit.
Now you can see why this matters in the United States, and globally. If Alibaba succeeds in crafting a middle ground, where they constantly benefit from Android without maintaining compliance, other OHA member manufacturers could follow suit.
Google may or may not have wanted to keep Motorola’s manufacturing, but it’s clear that can stabilize things in the United States. Motorola can offer full-line Android device ranges even if HTC and Samsung do split over the same points of contention that Alibaba is raising right now. There will always be Android, and the Alien-Android Hybrids.
If Samsung and HTC ever do split the Android with a fork, now you’ll know the finer points of why. The hard part will be who pushes that to the limit, and what types of devices raise the same questions over here.